You might think of white as being sort of a blah color – the neutral, the default, the blank slate. But when it comes to bathroom design in general and bathroom vanities in particular, white is one of the best and most flexible colors out there. It helps keep a bathroom looking clean, bright, open, and large, and unlike some wood tones, it isn’t limited to a single design style. In fact, with just a little looking, you can easily find white bathroom vanities that work well with just about any decor.
Simple White (For A Country Cottage Style)
In a long list of whites, I’ll start with the obvious one: white, by whatever name you choose to call it. It’s the color you use to paint over old cabinets to breathe new life into them, and it’s the color of crisp, clean cottage bathroom design. These white bathroom vanities are pure white, with simple country or transitional styles that are perfect for a casual, cozy contemporary space. With one big window, even a relatively small white bathroom vanity can help brighten your space, while the sleek, simple lines of the vanity itself create a comfortable, uncluttered style.
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Antique or Parchment White (For Old World Authenticity)
That said, not all white bathroom vanities are, strictly speaking, white. Many antique styles tend more towards off white, cream, parchment, and even a little darker. A well-applied antique finish in this color will highlight the antique woodwork, either with darker tones that mimic the age of passing years, or with strategic wear-through of the paint. Either way, these techniques enhance the wood detailing by simultaneously drawing the eye to the vanity’s best features and imitating age that would otherwise only come with years of use. As a bonus, this color works equally well in bathrooms with and without windows. While incandescent light can sort of minimize the glowing white effect of a pure white, with a parchment white you won’t have to worry because the paint already has a yellow tint.
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Weathered White (For A Homey Aged Look)
Not to be mistaken as the same thing as an antique finish, weathered white bathroom vanities are designed to look, well, like they’ve been around the block. Rather than simple wear-through on the corners or prominent edges, weathered vanities look like they were whitewashed (maybe unevenly) then left out in the sun to crack, peel, and wear down. Now, of course this look isn’t for everyone, and if it isn’t done well it just looks messy. But with a careful hand, white bathroom vanities can be made to look positively charming, with a hand-me-down, gramma’s house sort of appeal or even a sense of decadent decay that works beautifully in older or reclaimed spaces.
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Wedding Cake White (To Make A Dazzling Impression)
Now, while many antique-styled white bathroom vanities start somewhere in the off-white range and get darker and more beaten up from there, if you really want to ramp up the wow factor, a heavily carved, ornamental antique bathroom vanity done in the purest, whitest white is about as dazzling as it comes. More than any other color, white shows off every detail and feature, catching both light and shadows, making the woodwork come alive. Accented with silver, gold, or creamy peaches and pinks, this type of vanity is pretty as a cupcake, and can even emulate an antique dressing table.
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Glossy White (For A Sleek Modern Look)
Lest you think that all white bathroom vanities skew toward the antique, though, I’d like to point out that it’s a color that’s been nicely appropriated by modern design as well, but with a twist. Cranking up the glossiness on white paint instantly creates an ultra modern vibe, with slightly reflective surfaces that create the hands-off urban chic that’s so desirable in modern design. As with other white bathroom vanities, these can make your bathroom look and feel bigger than it is, while smaller or wall mounted versions can actually give you more space to work with. For an even more intense modern style, consider pairing it with a black vanity top or black accent wall, for a high contrast vanity style.
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Porcelain White (To Keep With Tradition)
Okay, so pedestal sinks and console vanities aren’t technically bathroom vanities, but they are white, and they’re definitely traditional. In fact, if you want to trace the history of the prevalence of white in the bathroom, you only have to look as far as porcelain: from tubs and toilets to these time-transcending sinks and the pristine white wall and floor tile that often accompanies them. Pedestal sinks, subway tile, hex tile, and clawfoot tubs give a prim sense of turn of the century style, but also create a crisp, clean, and easy to clean decor. Especially with lots of natural light, all these elements combine to create a very bright, open space, even without any “traditional” white bathroom vanities.
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What type of white bathroom vanity appeals to you the most? Do you like a crisp clean white, or something a little rougher around the edges?